There has been a surge in complaints on social media in recent weeks about potholes, pipe bursts and other broken municipal infrastructure in Table View.
The City says it is working around the clock to fix the problems, but residents say it looks like the municipality’s maintenance standards are slipping and that it often takes weeks to attend to complaints.
Stephen Maxwell, of Table View, said problems in the neighbourhood were piling up.
“We have pipe water bursts, potholes, overflowing drains, a vagrant issue and, on top of this, every other day someone is trying to build a new housing development. It all just keeps getting worse by the day.
“The municipality doesn’t seem to care. We pay such high taxes and rates, but we don’t get the services we pay for. We have been seeing this gradual decline in the area for the past few years now.”
According to Felicity Purchase, mayoral committee member for transport, Table View service requests are being dealt with and most of the issues are related to incomplete reinstatements after water pipe bursts.
“As for potholes, the City’s transport directorate is working around the clock to repair potholes,” she said, adding that there was a backlog because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
“The City’s local roads depot in Killarney is responsible for the roads in Blaauwberg. The district office is currently addressing each recorded pothole and road-damage notification throughout the area. We can assure residents that repairs and the reinstatements will be done under the planned water rehabilitation works project. We have planned for this.”
Staff numbers at the depots had risen with the easing of the lockdown, she said.
“Clearing of the backlog is being prioritised and being attended to as a matter of urgency. Residents will see the improvements in due course, across the city,” she said.
Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for water and waste, said that water-pipe bursts could be caused by, among other things, the age of the pipe, pressure fluctuation, earth movements, tree roots, and damage caused by contractors working nearby.
“The City’s water department attends to these leaking or burst pipes as soon as possible in the area, as resources allow,” she said. “Furthermore, the pipe replacement programme, which upgrades the water pipeline, will continue to be rolled out to areas including Table View, from the first week in April, as the contractor has been appointed.”
Sewer overflows, she said, were generally caused by misuse of the sewer system, especially when rags, newspapers, feminine hygiene products, nappies, wet wipes, cooking fats and oils, and building materials, were disposed of into the system.
“The City clears the blockages and overflows as and when they are reported, but the situation will continue until such time as these items stop being flushed down the toilet or, with regards to fats/ oils, poured down the drain. We encourage residents and businesses to please dispose of these items appropriately,” she said.
Dr Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health, said the state of disaster had seen an increase in vagrancy in several communities.
“The City has been at pains to point out the limitations on it from an enforcement perspective as a result of the disaster regulations, and other legal challenges.”
The City helped street people get into shelters, reunite with their families, access social and medical services, and get IDs and social grants, but they often refused help because of ready access to handouts from the public, he said. He encouraged the public to instead donate to organisations helping the homeless through the Give Dignity initiative. More information about this can be found on the City’s website.
Report potholes to the Transport Information Centre at 0800 65 64 63. To report sewer blockages, missing drain covers, vandalism, burst pipes, leaks and water wastage, visit www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests, email email@example.com, SMS 31373 or call 0860 103 089. Visit www.capetown.gov.za/facilities to find your nearest walk-in municipal centre.